Delicious food. We offer kid-friendly, varied food and lots of options. Breakfast will always include eggs, cereal (both hot and cold), milk, fresh fruit and yogurt. There may also be bagels, pancakes, waffles, or French toast. A typical lunch may be grilled cheese, pizza, burgers and hot dogs, tacos or chicken tenders. Both lunch and dinner always offer a salad bar, as well as pasta, tuna, fruit and peanut butter and jelly. Dinner may feature chicken, deli sandwiches, or lasagna. All meals are served kosher-style.
Here are some examples of how camp incorporates Jewish culture and custom into our summers:
- Our meals are served kosher-style.
- We recite Hamotzi (gratitude for our meal) before meals.
- Camp comes together for Friday night and Saturday morning Shabbat services led by campers and staff from our camp prayer book. At Camp Airy, we wear white shirts and kippot are optional for services. At Camp Louise, we wear all white Friday evening and Saturday morning.
- We recruit and hire approximately 20 Israeli counselors to be among our staff. Most of our bunk counselors are “home-grown” and have various levels of Jewish observance.
- Our campfires often involve singing Jewish songs – and eating s’mores. Both camps have tzedakah/tikkun olam programs during the summer.
We have a huge turnout of campers from the Washington, DC and Baltimore region. Additionally, we boast a large contingency from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia.
We do not have a visiting day.
Campers follow a daily schedule of both assigned and choice activities. The older the campers, the greater amount of choice they have in their schedule. Older campers sign up for workshops or clinics that span several days for more in-depth programming. We try to provide a wide array of activities for campers to explore – athletics, arts, outdoors, swim, music, and more- because they might not know they like an activity until they try it!
All campers have some element of personal selection in their activities. Campers in Junior Camp are given a wide variety of activities to expose them to the great activities in Camp. In addition to the scheduled activities, these campers have a few activity periods where they have the ability to select the activity of their choice, often based on what they have found to like from their regularly scheduled activities. Campers often don’t know they love archery until they try it out for the first time with their bunk!
As campers get older, they receive more opportunities to create their own individualized schedule. Campers in Senior Camp as well as Trainees have some activities that they participate in with their bunk, but have an increased amount of activities that they have chosen. These campers sign up for workshops and clinics that span multiple days, which allows us to spend time focusing on growth and building more advanced skills.
Camps Airy and Louise get together at least once per week, and with special events like a carnival or a musical production, sometimes more. Camps Airy and Louise campers of the same grade may go on an out-of-camp trip once per session (fun activities such as bowling or ice skating), and also have a dance or two in camp during their session.
A typical bunk has between 12-14 campers of the same grade.
Most bunks have three counselors. Our oldest campers – the trainees who are more independent – have two.
Staff come to us from a variety of sources. All are at least high-school-graduate age. A large number of staff members have participated in our three year leadership training program, aimed at growing leaders as well as teaching practical skills in counselorship. Other staff members are referred to us by partners that place international applicants or are recruited from area colleges and school systems. Before being hired, all staff are interviewed and background checks are conducted.
Yes. Our founders, Uncle Airy and Aunt Lil, decided that no camper should ever be denied a Jewish camp experience due to financial hardships. We are proud to continue that tradition. For more information or to apply for a campership, visit our Campership page.
In most Camp Airy bunks, there is a connected bathroom with sinks, stalls and two urinals. Our younger campers live in these bunks. The showers are in separate buildings; fours bunks share a shower house. Older campers reside in bunks that make use of a near-by bathroom/shower house.
At Camp Louise, every bunk has two showers, two toilets, and two sinks right in the bunk. There are also public bathrooms throughout camp.
At Camp Airy, each camper gets a bunk bed, a drawer underneath, a cubby and space in a storage closet for larger items. In the older bunks, campers get a set of drawers, closet space and room under the bunk beds.
At Camp Louise, each camper gets a bed, space underneath the beds, a set of drawers, and closet space.
Often times, we’re asked what’s on the “other” packing list. These items are not required, but many parents have told us they are helpful. One suggestion to help keep a camper organized is a hanging shoe rack, as it can be useful for additional clothing storage or items that could be stored more neatly in a smaller space. Also, be sure to bring items to personalize space, such a pictures and posters. Crafts, a deck of cards, magazines or books are always encouraged for down time.
Our camp gates are guarded 24/7. Security and supervisory staff regularly make rounds around camp, including at nighttime. All staff members carry Staff ID cards, which are scanned upon entry and exit from camp. Visitors will be required to show identification at the gate and verified with the office staff prior to entry.
We are proud to say that both camps feature doctors and nurses on campus 24 hours per day, all summer. The number of Medical Staff at Camps Airy and Louise exceeds the guidelines detailed in American Camp Association (ACA) and Maryland Youth Camp Safety Act (MYCSA) statutes.
Campers may not have cell phones or devices that allow connection to the internet. One of the best things about camp is having an experience that is “unplugged”. In addition, we don’t want to see expensive, personal items to wind up broken. The only exception – we encourage campers who enjoy listening to their music, especially to help them fall asleep, to bring an inexpensive MP3 player. These campers should also bring inexpensive headphones.
Camp communication with your child is best managed by writing letters. There’s nothing like receiving a good, old-fashioned real handwritten letter in an envelope at camp. You can also use the Camp-In-Touch website to email your camper – the email will be printed and delivered with the day’s mail. Campers do not have access to make or receive phone calls. If something comes up or you receive a letter that causes concern, call us at the office. You’ll be put in touch with your camper’s Unit Leader who will call you back directly and assist.
We do not give out contact information of any camper unless explicitly given permission. If you would like a camper’s information, we will get in touch with the family on your behalf.